This page presents Madagascar's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit. Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.
In Madagascar, two seasons are recognized: a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cooler, dry season from May to October. The east coast has a sub-equatorial climate driven by easterly trade winds, along with the heaviest and most consistent rainfall, with a maximum of 3,700 mm annually. The west coast of the country is generally drier and is subject to significant coastal erosion. The southwest and the extreme south are semi-desert environments, receiving less than 800 mm of rainfall annually. The average annual temperatures vary between 23°C and 27°C along the coast and between 16°C and 19°C in the central mountains.
- There is clear evidence that temperatures have increased by 0.2°C over northern Madagascar and by 0.1°C over southern Madagascar.
- Between 1961 and 2005, 17 of the 21 weather stations recorded statistically significant increases in daily minimum temperatures across all seasons, and several stations indicated increased daily maximum temperature trends.
- The character of rainfall across Madagascar has changed significantly, although no obvious trend in rainfall can be surmised from the available record.
- A reduction in winter and spring rainfall has been detected in most parts of the country.
- In the central and east coastal regions, rainfall was on a steady decline between 1961 and 2005, accompanied by increases in the length of dry spells.